Hey there! My name’s Debi and I’m really glad you stopped by.
For those of you who could care less about details, here’s a Cliff Notes version of who I am:
Personal: Single mom, Friend, Daughter, Girlfriend, Sister, Trucker, Blogger, Writer
Fast Food, Cashier, Truck Driver, Pet Sitter, Security Guard, School bus driver, Secretary, File Clerk, Receptionist, Office Temp, Collections, College Student, Computer Programmer & more – Basically a “Jack of All Trades, Master of None”
Direct Sales (Travel Industry) – I did well
MLM (Travel Industry) – I sucked at it
Direct Sales (Personal Development Industry) – I kicked butt!
Internet Marketing (Blogging, PLR, Kindle Writing, Affiliate Marketing) – I’m still learning
Personality Traits: Outspoken, Opinionated, Caring, Honest, Stubborn, Intuitive, Friendly, Adaptable, Loyal, Perfectionist (Recovering) – People either really like me or really don’t, but either way, they typically at least respect that they know where I stand.
For those who are looking to learn more, here you go…
I’m 40-something (I stopped counting at 38) and I have 2 amazing men in my life. The first is my son who I’ve raised on my own. The other is the man I love who’s been a part of my life since 2007.
Where I Started
In August of 1998, I moved my son away from everyone we knew in Illinois, for a computer programming job that had promised they could keep me under contract. Seven months later (& 1 month after buying my very first home), I was given a 2-week notice and told they didn’t have any new contracts. I was beyond angry.
I decided at that moment that I was done working for corporate America. I was done putting in 90-100 hours a week for someone who just didn’t give a damn. I went to the paper and called every number listed in the “Opportunities” section. I spent the next 2 weeks listening to conference calls, attending presentations in people’s homes that I didn’t know, and asking TONS of questions.
My First Business – Success then Failure
To keep a long story short. I found a travel company that I could get behind. It cost me $18,000 to start that business. And no, I had no savings, no 401k, no investments & no property other than the home I had just bought. I called my mortgage company & the bank where I had my truck loan and asked how long I could NOT pay them before they took it all back (no, they’re really not too keen on those kinda questions). 🙂
I put my home, my truck, & my son’s and my well-being on the line & jumped in (I figured I was either going to sink or swim and fast is a lot less painful sometimes).
During my first week in the business I did everything I was told to do. At the end of week 2, my son & I flew to the Bahamas for a company event & spent 5 days at the Atlantis Resort. When I got back, I kept doing what the top earners in the company told me to do and by the end of month 2, I had made over $8,000 net profit so I was able to keep moving forward. I was excited!
I continued to grow my income for the first 8 months but then the company owner made some major changes. During the next 3-4 months, I nearly lost my home and had taken on a part-time job at the corner Mobil station just to keep my lights on while I tried to figure out what I was doing with this new business model.
My Next Business – Success I Never Thought Possible
Thankfully I wasn’t the only one who was having issues with the changes. Soon after, the company leadership parted ways & the guys who I knew & trusted most asked me if I wanted to assist them, along with 9 others, in building their personal development company from the ground up. It scared me to take on a startup company, especially given that 85% of most direct sales companies fail within the first year, but as I said, I trusted the co-founders so I went with them.
My business turned around within the first 2 months and I became a top income earner. I hosted company training calls, mentored my team so they could duplicate what I was doing, worked on myself so I could continue to grow as a person, and traveled the world with my son for the next 4 years.
My best day with that company was $50,000 net income. That was in 2004.
Tough Decisions – I Choose Me
In 2005, I chose to leave that company because I felt that the principles we’d built it on had changed and I just couldn’t stand behind it anymore. It had become more about the money than the people we were assisting. I started looking for something I could do that would be mine. A business I could control in the way of how it was run and who I wanted to work with.
Decisions Based on Ignorance
In 2007, I thought I knew what I was doing in the way of online “stuff”, so I decided to take the business on the road with me and go play “trucker”. I got my Class A CDL and started driving a big rig. And while I love to drive, I was very naive about the amount of hours that job would take…almost as naive as I’d been in thinking I could take a new online business on the road with me, especially when I still knew so little about the industry and what I was doing.
Time to Regroup
By the end of 2010, I’d had enough of being a trucker. I love to drive but the lifestyle – the lack of regular exercise, crappy food, & long hours – was (and still is) taking its toll. I’d burnt through all my savings, had downsized my living expenses, sold my house, and started searching again for someone who knew how to market online – someone I could trust and follow. I found, or I guess I should say re-found, Tiffany Dow. I’d followed her for a while before I went on the truck when she was doing Squidoo. I really liked her style. But when I got so busy at the J.O.B., I stopped following her, along with everyone else I’d been researching.
Now I’m back on track. I’ve been reading, researching, studying and more since January 2011. I’m participating in Tiff’s Branding Challenge continuously as I work on determining who *I* am and getting clear on my goals and what direction I want to take in building my online business. I’ve made money online but nothing to quit my job over.
My friends & family don’t understand how I can be where I am with my job and yet be so sure about where I’m headed. That’s easy. When I started my very first business, I was clueless about what was really possible. I wasn’t so sure of myself back then. I’d never owned a business. Heck, I’d never known anyone else who had either. My mom was a single mom and a legal secretary who worked for the same man for 38 years. My father worked for the local utility company from the time I was born until the day he retired. Not exactly an entrepreneurial upbringing.
So the only thing I could do was what those who were successful were telling me to do. The nice thing is that, once you’ve seen that kind of success and you know that you were able to duplicate it, you know without doubt that you can do it again…that it IS possible. Just look at Donald Trump!
My Personal Development Journey
Listen, I mentioned earlier that the company I was most successful with was in the Personal Development Industry. So I can tell you that I’m passionate about assisting people (actually given my personality it’s more of a “push” than an assist) in stepping out of their comfort zones and getting them clear on who they are and what they’re capable of. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t about me telling you to fix yourself or what you should improve. But if you know a little about how I got to where I am, it makes it easier for you to decide if you wanna hang around or not.
When I first started in business, I had people talking to me about Personal Development. I didn’t get it. I thought it was ridiculous of people to tell me to write down my goals (especially since I’d just lost my job and had limited time available to begin with), and that “what I believe is what I can achieve”. Really? Prove it!
Well, since they were where I wanted to be, I took a chance and just did what they said. And yes, that included writing down my goals, doing daily affirmations and reading what I called self-help books. It was uncomfortable. It didn’t always make sense. And it was a constant battle shutting up that guy in my head who kept saying “Yeah right….like YOU can ever make a 6-figure income!”
Well, I’ve since learned the power of personal development. I’ve continued to read, study, think, evaluate, affirm, and work on ME. That’s right. As much as I like me…I can use some work (some days more than others). 🙂
By the way, that’s one of the toughest realizations I had to come to (and more importantly, ADMIT to). Many people are never going to be willing to admit something so obvious or so simple…and they’ll stay stuck as a member of the 97% (not to be confused with the recent 99% Occupy Wall Street crowd). 🙂
I’m not telling you all this so that you’ll run out and grab a self-help book or two. I cover it so that you know that I’ve already spent time figuring out who I am, how I am and how I got to be that way. It’s a process that never ends because it’s easy to fall back into old thought patterns and crappy habits when I don’t continually work on me.
The Top 11 Things I’ve Learned About Me (and Feel I Should Warn Tell You About)
1. I’m one of the most stubborn people you’ll ever meet.
2. I’m extremely outspoken and opinionated and I believe I’m right most of the time (mostly because I don’t bother opening my mouth about things till I’m sure of what I’m talking about), but am more than willing to admit I’m wrong if you can show me where. 😉
3. I’m a perfectionist which causes me to have high expectations of myself, which leads to high expectations of those around me – Expectations that they (nor I) will ever be able to live up to. And as I said earlier, I’m “recovering”.
4. I am extremely loyal & caring – I will protect, defend & watch out for those I care about (family, friends, clients, customers, even friends & family of friends, etc) – I can become very hurtful of people who attempt to harm any of the people I care about.
5. I’m a “Research-a-holic” (This trait is driven by trait #1 & feeds into trait #2). It drives me nuts when I can’t remember something so I’ll have to look it up. If I don’t know something, I’ll look it up. If someone asks me about something or mentions something interesting that I didn’t know about, I’ll look it up. Yes, Google is my friend (well…most days). 😛
6. I have a natural ability to teach people, regardless of how they best learn or what the topic is.
7. I’m honest to a fault and I’ve found that some people like me for it and some people don’t, but most at least respect the fact that they never have to figure out what I’m thinking.
8. I’m very intuitive and have been most of my life – More importantly, I’ve learned to trust it and it’s allowed me to be very adaptable to change.
9. I’m a big kid and prefer to have fun over being serious (my mom always said I was a “kid magnet”). Yes, I know there are times that require maturity. But humor has gotten me through the worst times of my life and I imagine that’s going to be the case until it’s time for me to leave this earth. Growing old is a have-to, growing up is optional!
10. I have a habit of pointing out what has to be “fixed” or made better before pointing out what was done right – My son points this one out regularly so that I can keep on top of it!
11. I’m extremely sarcastic – This is a family trait that’s been passed on for generations so I’m doubtful it will ever change – I’ve just learned to use it for good rather than evil. ;P
These are just my top 11 (I was born on the 11th and I’m a Libra so 10 just didn’t seem right). What I’ve figured out is that sometimes they can be a hindrance, but other times that same trait is the one that’s gotten me through a situation. So I keep them all, acknowledge that they’re a part of me, and work on using the more positive aspect of the ones that can get me into trouble more often than not!
The good news is this…you can’t hurt my feelings. If you don’t like something about me, I’m ok with that. If I do something or say something you don’t like, simply let me know. Mom taught me that everyone has a right to their opinion (although as her daughter I was required to watch HOW that opinion was stated). I’m ok with not having everyone like me (I certainly don’t like everyone I meet so why would I be silly enough to expect everyone to like ME?)
But I’m sure I’ll be covering more of that in detail here and there on my blog so….
Bottom line, I know there’s a lot more to fix about me & I’ve learned that the first step towards becoming your best is admitting that you could use some fixing!
What’s in it for you?
Well, that depends on whether you wanna stick around or not. I know more than some and less than others, but I’m willing to show you whatever I know and share with you everything I’ve learned. If you ask me about something I’ll always be honest, even if I think you might not want to hear the answer. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll tell you that too (and then I’ll go look it up and get back to you). 🙂
Some of what I share might get you to where you want to be and some of it might just keep you from making the same mistakes I’ve made. Either way, it’ll be an adventure!
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